Children sure can create the most interesting pieces of art. Take the pictures of Lucy the Owl and William Pierre-Luc Devereau VIII the Caribou, for example.

These two wonderful and surreal animals were the co-winners of a recent mascot art contest put on by ACFA (Association Canadienne Française de l’Alberta) régionale de Jasper. The local francophone association was trying to drum up public interest in the programs and services it offers to the local population.

“I wanted to get the word out there that everybody’s welcome here to our events,” said the organization’s director Emilie Langley. “We’re here for the community.”

Riyad Eid is a Grade 6 student at École Desrochers. His caribou picture is almost as impressive as the story that he wrote along with it. Lyam (as he calls his hero) was an outcast among his peers because of how he looked. In defiance, he trekked across the country to meet many new and different people and animals. In doing so, he became a hero who fought discrimination.

“I am very honoured to be a winner of the ACFA mascot competition. When my teacher first told me about this contest, I immediately thought about entering because I really enjoy drawing. I also liked giving my mascot a creative back story about overcoming discrimination. Once I completed my work, I felt deep down that I had a good chance of winning.  So, I’m very happy to have won and I appreciate the gifts from ACFA, and of course the opportunity to be featured in the newspaper. Merci,” he said.

“We are very proud of Riyad and his work ethic in everything he does. He has a very creative mind and shows great attention to detail. He had a fun time coming up with ideas for a new mascot. We are very impressed with his imagination and storytelling skills,” said his parents, Yasna Astorga and Rafic Eid.

The picture of Lucy the Owl was created by a local Grade 4 student, whose family wished to keep them anonymous. Lucy is one of those impressive creatures who, like a centaur, is an amalgam of different animals. She has a caribou’s antlers, a beaver’s teeth, a fish’s belly, duck feet, and more.

“Elle est presque tous les animaux dans le parc,” the text reads, which translates as “She’s almost every animal in the park.”

“These two kids … it just blew my mind how imaginative their stories were. It just made me laugh,” Langley said.

ACFA intends to take these two winners along with the approximately 120 other entries from Hinton and Jasper and come up with one mascot that it will create in the near future. The mascot will then become a feature of public events to help draw further interest in the association and its activities.

By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 30, 2023 at 06:00

This item reprinted with permission from    The Fitzhugh    Jasper, Alberta

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